We’ve recently started playing more with non motorized treadmills at Champion and have been very happy with the results.
Non motorized treadmills have gained popularity in the fitness realm as alternatives to self-powered conditioning machines like bikes and rowers. The Assault Air bikes and Concept 2 rowers have long been popular for their ability to produce amazing workouts.
I am a big fan of conditioning machines that increase their intensity based on the amount of effort exerted. Essentially, the harder you go, the harder they push back!
These have done wonders for high intensity interval training and sprint conditioning work.
Woodway has recently developed the Woodway Curve self-powered manual treadmill. Past non motorized treadmills seemed really cheap to me, but Woodway, who makes some of the best treadmills, has really made an exceptional machine with the Curve. I started using them for sprint work with the Red Sox, but have recently been using it more and more with my rehabilitation clients at Champion.
Because it is nonmotorized, your posterior chain is nicely engaged while walking and running on the Curve. A simple period of ambulation on the Curve does a great job engaging the hamstrings and glutes. I’ve been using these in everyone with diagnoses like patellofemoral pain, low back pain, and even postoperative. We start with a slow walk and slowly build up the speed and eventually get to running.
In the video below I explain more. I’m a big fan of nonmotorized treadmills to facilitate a proper gait form and engage the posterior chain.